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The Goals of the Marianist Family Encounters Project ~ explained

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

This article articulates the goals of the multi-year journey envisioned through the Marianist Family's Encounter Project. It also describes how these goals relate to the five Characteristics of Marianist Education, the seven commitments of the Global Compact on Education, and the seven goals of the Laudato Si' Action Platform. Ours is an integrated approach at the intersection of the cry of the earth, the cry of the poor, and the gift of our Marianist charism.


Purpose of the Marianist Encounter Goals


The Marianist Encounter Goals are a set of 5 broad goals endorsed by the Marianist Family Encounter Project in order to guide a 7-year journey of each of the branches, institutions, organizations, and communities of the Marianist Family in two initiatives endorsed by Pope Francis: the Laudato Si Action Platform (LSAP) and the Global Compact on Education (GCE). These Marianist Encounter Goal themes combine the many stated goals of both papal initiatives within a framework that is more concise and also approached from the distinctive language and viewpoint of the Marianist charism. Both papal initiatives (i.e. the LSAP and GCE) are proposed as multi-year journeys that entail a process of reflection, action, and evaluation towards their stated goals. By synthesizing the goals of these initiatives within a Marianist framework, the Marianist Encounter Goals help to combine these various initiatives into a single journey in which each committed branch or institution initiates a process of reflection, action, and evaluation in order to make a substantive improvement to its overall contribution towards the 5 Marianist Encounter Goals.


In order to help frame the stated goals of each papal initiative, the Marianist Family Encounter Project has made intentional use of the Characteristics of Marianist Education (CMEs), which are used by Marianist-sponsored schools and universities and applicable to all of us as nonformal educators. The Marianist Encounter Goals neither add nor subtract any concepts or commitments from the 7 goals of the LSAP, the 7 goals of the GCE, or the 5 CMEs.


Any branch, institution, or community that has already committed to one or more of the LSAP, GCE, or CMEs should not view the Marianist Encounter Goals as an additional commitment. On the contrary, the intention is to provide greater clarity by synthesizing these 19 various goals and characteristics into a more manageable set of 5 goals. Therefore, although the richness of each of these Marianist Encounter Goals can and should be unpacked by studying the various sources to which they refer, Marianist branches and institutions may use the framework of the Marianist Encounter Goals to focus conversations and transformative actions in a more manageable way. In other words, Marianist branches or institutions that have already committed to the LSAP, GCE, and/or CMEs are invited to view a commitment to the Marianist Encounter Goals as a recommitment to the goals and characteristics to which they have already dedicated themselves in an intentional, renewed, and potentially more holistic manner.


In short: Use these Marianist Encounter Goals to help consolidate and focus conversation around the commitments your branch or institution has already made to the Laudato Si Action Platform, Global Compact on Education, Characteristics of Marianist Education, or other mission-related goals and characteristics to which you are committed.



The Marianist Encounter Goals


Goal 1 – Promote Justice, Peace, and the Integrity of Creation

To better care for our common home by responding to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor in our Marianist ministries and communities.


Sources:

  • LSAP 1: Respond to the Cry of the Earth

  • LSAP 2: Respond to the Cry of the Poor

  • GCE 7: Safeguard and care for our common home

  • GCE 5: To educate and be educated on the need for acceptance and in particular, openness to the most vulnerable and marginalized.

  • CME 4: Educate for service, justice, peace and the integrity of creation.


Goal 2 – Transform through Integral Ecology
To transform our church and world by continually re-thinking and re-designing curricular and institutional reform in the spirit of an integral ecology that promotes the value and dignity of the human person within our common community of Creation. Within these institutional reforms, further promote the education and empowerment of minoritized populations, especially including women and girls as well as victims of poverty.

Sources:

  • LSAP 5: Ecological education

  • GCE 3: Promote full participation of girls and young women in education

  • GCE 1: Place the value and dignity of the human person at the center of every formal and informal education process

  • CME 2: Provide an integral, quality education


Goal 3 – Listen and Educate in Faith
To educate and form persons of faith through the profound conversion of discovering God in all things, especially in the beauty of Creation, the sighs of the sick and the groans of the afflicted. Ground each educational and formative endeavor in a process of authentic listening to the voices of children and young people in order to co-create these endeavors in light of the particular needs, insights, and movement of the Spirit always already active in younger generations.

Sources:

  • LSAP 6: Ecological spirituality

  • GCE 2: Listen to the voices of children, teenagers, and the young

  • CME 1: Educate for formation in faith


Goal 4 – Foster Sustainable Lifestyles
To be a catalyst for the adaptation and change of our human family by fostering a new ecological economics and the adoption of sustainable lifestyles.

Sources:

  • LSAP 3: Ecological economics

  • LSAP 4: Adoption of sustainable lifestyles

  • GCE 6: To be committed to finding new ways of understanding the economy, politics, growth, and progress that can truly stand at the service of the human person and the entire human family, within the context of an integral ecology.

  • CME 5: educate for adaptation and change


Goal 5 – Empower through Family Spirit
To empower resilient, local communities through the promotion of family spirit and regional solidarity within both the Marianist Family and society at large.

Sources:

  • LSAP 7: Community resilience and empowerment

  • GCE 4: To empower the family

  • CME 3: Educate in family spirit


For a one-page handout of the Marianist Encounter Goals, click here.


For a color poster of the Marianist Encounter Goals, click here.


For a downloadable pdf of this article, click here.

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Thanks very much for clarifying and making more concise the various goals--they are many! I fear, though, that in 7 years, the earth will be in much worse shape than it is now IF WE DO NOT CHANGE OUR LIFESTYLES NOW. Doing it gradually--in 7 years--is, I am sorry to say, too little too late!

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